The snow began to fall the day of our departure. When I checked JFK’s website for flight info, I saw that almost all the flights leaving between the one-hour time frame as mine were canceled….except my flight! With fingers crossed and a cell-phone text alert engaged, we piled into my aunt and uncle’s SUV with our small city of luggage. Only 2 suitcases held personal belongings. The rest were packed full of the donation of soccer uniforms, deflated soccer balls, as well as an accumulation of shoes, clothes, and school supplies that we’d been buying the previous months. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve spent much of the last few months in Mendocino County in Northern California. Despite all the traveling I did around Central America, this is my first time traveling to California. Northern California, especially, has always been a place I’d like to explore. I’ve always heard of the beauty of the redwoods and the magic of places where the redwoods meet the ocean. I’ve been blessed to have spent the last few months in this magical place. Here are a few impressions I’ve accumulated.
My trip has been a mixture of reconnecting with old friends and discovering new ones. I wrote earlier about reconnecting with a dear friend from college on my arrival to California. I was also blessed to spend some time with a yoga teaching friend of mine I initially met in Granada, Nicaragua.
Kathleen and I were able to spend more time together than we had in Nicaragua! We shared some meals, camping, and work together before it was time for her to return to the country.
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Hello, blog world.
I’ve been quiet of late. Partly this is because I’ve been up on a mountain without a strong or reliable internet connection. This time was nice. It consisted of reconnecting with old friends and making new friends — many of whom felt as though they were old friends I’d only forgotten. It also consisted of cold nights and bright moons, too many dog fights, and some amazing food made in outdoor kitchens. I was enjoying the time so much that I called my little brother in Connecticut to see if he’d be able to come out and join me. Not this year, but for sure next year — that was the plan.
Then, I came out of the forest and a girlfriend said she had a note on her facebook from one of my aunts that my family was trying to contact me. Worry swelled — I wasn’t sure which family. (I’m blessed to have many.) On reconnecting online I learned the devastating news that my little brother had died.
The first day I met my little brother. He was 6 & I was 18.
I was blessed to know my brother for 16 years. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been making a slow-travel through California on this little trip home to the US. After a week of being spoiled by girl time and good cooking with a friend in Southern California, I hopped a train to LA and further north. There was a moment of adventure at the train station when I realized that the tracks there were closed and no train would be arriving. With only 10 minutes to get to the next station and catch my train, I had some luck with two guys and a pick up truck who generously loaded up me and my baggage and another poor soul who didn’t get the news of the closed station. We pulled up to the next station just as a train was getting ready to leave and breathed a sigh of relief that we would make our destination.
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It’s been a week of travel and adventure making my way back to the US. Flights out of Nicaragua were less expensive, and more convenient than flying out of Costa Rica, so I set about traveling north, this time twith some people.
The thing about traveling with others is that we’re a bit slower together, and there are more opportunities for frazzled nerves. There is a quote about that:
If you want to walk fast, walk alone.
If you want to walk far, walk together.
And so true, we did travel further together, albeit a bit slower, than we would have alone. The highlight of the bumpy bus rides and dirty hostel rooms located over noisy bus stations (read: no sleep!), was the car rental. My friend and I decided to splurge on a car rental since they are so inexpensive in the low season. We had many mochillas and maletas, backpacks and suitcases with us, and the ride north to our final destination promised 3 crowded chicken buses and seven hours, versus a cool 3 hour ride in a rental car.
And cool it was. Our little Corolla, which only costs us $40 for the day, came with air conditioning, a smooth steering wheel, and a radio with a spot to plug in a memory stick. “Music! We get to pick our own music!?!” One half hour of instruction booklet reading later, and we were jamming to reggae and latin and world music as the beautiful green mountains of Nicaragua rolled by.
Mountaintop Trikonasana in the hills of Esteli
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I’ve covered many miles since my last post. I’m feeling gratitude for the big, comfortable buses of Costa Rica and the stalwarts who drive them, allowing me many safe landings. I also hold gratitude for the many kind strangers who gave me lifts. Hitchhiking doesn’t have the same taboo of danger that it does in North America. Here, it’s a normal and oft-used way to travel. I’ve been blessed to have had three amazing rides over this time, each with their own pearl of wisdom to share.
And oh the wisdom! Read the rest of this entry
Some friends opened up a lovely little cafe on the Calzada in Granada back in December and it quickly became one of my favorite haunts. I spent the hot afternoons in the cool shade, surrounded by relaxing music, cafe, and beautiful art. Cafe de los Suenos always offered tasty dulces and warm smiles.
I landed here in Costa Rica at the doorstep of Tierre de Suenos and Tierra de Yoga – my new home for the next year. So I go from the hands of suenos, dreams, in Nicaragua to suenos in Costa Rica.
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When I returned from my first visit to Nicaragua, I connected with all my new friends via facebook. Facebook is a strong networking tool, and I like to use it as a way to keep in touch with interesting people I encounter in my travels in the hopes that we’ll connect again in the future. So there I was, back in Austin, posting info about all the fun yoga things that happen in Austin. Whoo, and there are a lot! Austin is a city that supports a strong and healthy yoga community.
One day, I received a short note from the owner of the yoga studio I’d visited here in Nicaragua mentioning that I made him wish he were in the States, what with all the fun yoga happenings occurring in Austin. I responded that my desire was to return to Nicaragua and explore the side of life available here. That’s when he made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve written before about the sounds of Nicaragua. The constant barrage of cars beeping, horse hooves clopping, vendors calling and dogs barking are as much a part of the fabric of Nicaragua as the volcanoes that loom over every horizon and the natural lakes that bring the cool breezes at night. One of my favorite things about getting to know a new culture has been an exposure to new varieties of music. I love that you don’t need language to appreciate music. It transcends culture and time. It’s also very incestuous – one style of music pulling inspiration from and incorporating others, and it’s fun to follow this evolution across history and culture. I’ve found quite a few favorites since I started exploring latin music, from the soulful sounds of romantic salsa music to the beats of Calle 13. This caught my eyes and ears this week. Enjoy!
El diario de un borracho
Granada is blessed to have animals everywhere you turn. Cats on the roof, dogs on every corner, goats, horses, and cows, all wandering the streets, negotiating traffic with buses, people in cars, on bikes, and on foot. Below is a small sampling…
The Motmot, the national bird of Nicaragua. This guy had a broken wing, and was being cared for by friends.
Hally – this dog is lucky enough to have a place to call home and regular meals and human companionship, but there are many street dogs in Nicaragua. So many, in fact, that a local artist was inspired to create a series of portraits of them which grace many restaurants, businesses, and homes in the area. Read the rest of this entry